Councillor will not vote on Trump application

East Garioch councillor Martin Ford
East Garioch councillor Martin Ford

East Garioch councillor Martin Ford will not be voting next January when Aberdeenshire Council determines the Trump Organisation’s planning application for housing at Menie.

Cllr Ford will declare an interest on the basis of ‘the objective test’ in the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, and leave the council chamber while the application is decided.

An artist's impression of the Trump Organisation's proposed estate at Menie

An artist's impression of the Trump Organisation's proposed estate at Menie

Cllr Ford said: “Councillors must adhere rigorously to the Code of Conduct at all times.

“Moreover, public confidence in the planning system depends on decisions being taken fairly and impartially, based only on relevant, material considerations.

“So any councillor who can reasonably be regarded as biased towards a planning applicant should not take part in the decision on that application.”

Cllr Ford added: “I’m quite clear campaigning to protect local residents’ homes and the Menie dunes from being bulldozed by Mr Trump was the right thing to do.

“I was appalled by Mr Trump’s bullying attempts to force his neighbours from their homes at Menie, including threats of possible compulsory purchase.

“However, by repeatedly speaking out against Mr Trump’s actions, it does mean that now, applying the objective test, I can’t take part in the Council process deciding on the Trump planning application for housing.”